Google Health: ho hum… so far

Although I’m leery of Google (see Is Google a threat to e-health?) if it’s useful enough I may get drawn in. That day isn’t here yet, though. Theoretically I’m one of the first patients who could benefit. I get my care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and my health plan is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS MA). Both companies are early partners of Google Health. That should mean that I can use Google Health to integrate my health plan and provider data.

I signed up for Google Health using my existing Google account. It was then a matter of only a very few clicks to sign into the BIDMC PatientSite portal and upload my information to Google. Unfortunately the only information that can be transferred so far is basic demographics (e.g., age, sex), allergies, medications, and diagnoses. Luckily my data fields are fairly empty. I can’t yet transfer lab results or immunizations. BCBSMA doesn’t have any functionality at all yet, probably because the partnership was just announced.

Anyway I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.

June 18, 2008

One thought on “Google Health: ho hum… so far”

  1. state of the art:
    TREAT UofCopenhagen CDDS with 85% accuracy with human at 65%…

    PHR, whats is it good for?:
    You mention loading data into your PHR. Well, I dont think that will be good enough to get people to use. Noone uses google maps to look at pretty pictures, you use it to get directions. Google must provide functionality that can provide actual medical advice, as is already possible and in clinical trials in europe.

    Basically, so what if you can load your lab results in your PHR conveniently? Are you going to stare at your data? The next step is to get algorithmic (Bayes, Machine Learning) level support to tell you what your data means!

    Today doctors complain about patients being ill-informed by the internets, imagine going to your doctor armed with a graph that explains your condition and best treatments- more accurately than a human.

    Ultimately, a big justification for alot of the inefficieny in the medical market is the attitude that licensed clinicians just know better (despite alot of evidence that shows they normally dont even know basic statistics to be able to interpret what positive or negative test results actually mean). By providing more accurate second opinions, justification for alot of the inefficiencies evaporate, ie could this be the way forward to decreased wait times, transparent pricing, and improved quality of preventive and procedural care.

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